Arctic Fox

in Photography Lovers4 months ago

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The Arctic Fox is Canada's second-smallest wild canid after the Swift Fox. Don't let its extremely thick fur fool you, this small Fox only weighs about 5kg or 11 pounds on the heavy end. The Arctic Fox is an extreme shedder, who loses the majority of its thick white or blue-grey coat over the spring. The back, tail and outer legs will turn to a brown and the belly will become a yellowish white like polar bear fur.

The Arctic Fox generally has a territory that varies in size from 16 to 25 square kilometers. But the foxes are capable of traveling much grater distances, with some tracked animals crossing from as far south as Hudson Bay area, all the way up to Resolute, Nunavut. Speaking in generalities, Arctic Foxes are known as nomadic creatures, traveling far in search of food. But that does not stop them from denning down. Arctic Foxes prefer to dig dens in the soft soils that are a bit higher in elevation, allowing for them to choose terrain that isn't rock-hard due to permafrost. Due to the extremely harsh terrain of Nunavut it is not uncommon for fox dens to be used for over a century by various generations of Arctic Foxes.

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Arctic Foxes can mainly be found on the arctic and alpine tundras of Nunavut, as well as in coastal areas and sometimes in the forested portions of their southern reaches. In these areas, the Arctic Fox hunts Lemmings and Voles who make tunnels below the snow to avoid the frigid surface temperatures. An opportunistic hunter, arctic foxes will also eat arctic hare, ptarmigans and, when available, scraps left over from the hunting activities of wolf, Polar bear, or humans. Scientists have seen a correlation between Arctic Fox and the boom-bust population dynamics of Lemmings, where a population crash in Lemmings will result in a severe decline in fox numbers. cough PETA will have you believe the animals starving to death is more humane than hunting them and managing their populations. cough cough Sorry, something stuck in my throat.

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Another troubling factor of the Arctic Fox is that its extreme resilience to cold climates makes it a well suited host for the Rabies virus. Here are just a few articles from this year alone on the increase in rabid fox attacks all across Nunavut.

https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/iqaluit-sled-dog-tests-positive-for-rabies/

https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/2-more-nunavut-foxes-test-positive-for-rabies/

https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/whale-cove-warned-of-rabies-danger-after-fox-attacks-leave-2-dogs-dead/

https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/rabid-fox-prevalence-due-to-population-boom-says-wildlife-manager/

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Taken with a Nikon P900 at full zoom in "Bird mode," not using digital zoom. Equivalent to around 1200mm. Edited in Lightroom.

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At #Skansen in Stockholm, there is a project to protect and increase the number of Arctic Fox in Sweden. Nice article 😉👍

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Thank you. Because of the high risk of rabies in our area I had to chase the fox off with my snowmobile. It did not appear to be rabid, so I hope it made it off the island safely. I like them and think they're adorable creatures. Especially when they do stuff like you posted in that gif lol

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Cool little guys. Great pictures.

Great post, one of my favorite types of fox. Never been far north enough to see one, great pics. Thanks for sharing.

To be honest, even if you do make it up here it's practically luck of the draw as to if you see one. I've been up here several years and have only seen them a handful of times. Only twice have I been lucky enough to have my camera on me. The Inuit hunt them so they are extremely skittish around people and machines.

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